Caitlin Rivers, PhD+ Your Authors @cmyeaton Outbreak science + epidemiology + health security. Assistant professor at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (@JHSPH_CHS). ELBI alum. May. 24, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

There is a print in a colleague’s office at @JHSPH_CHS commemorating the eradication of smallpox. It’s signed Never Again! I want us to say that about pandemics. And mean it. 1/

We should never again face the choice to shut down our economy or lose hundreds of thousands of loved ones. Both are too devastating to contemplate. 2/

It really worries me that a thread of public discourse has shifted to whether shutting down was justified. That conversation distracts form the real question: why were we so vulnerable that doing so was our only plausible option? 3/

We won’t be able to stop all outbreaks. We can’t expect that. But can we reasonably expect to prevent, detect and respond before an outbreak becomes an epidemic becomes a pandemic? Yes. 4/

We can do better next time. We can treat pandemic preparedness with the same gravity that we treat national security. We can invest, plan, innovate, stockpile. We can say never again and mean it. 5/5

You can follow @cmyeaton.


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